In Baptism (by means of the faith of our parents and sponsors) we are claimed by God as his own and welcomed into the worldwide family of the Christian Church. In Confirmation we make for ourselves the promises once made on our behalf by those who presented us for baptism: and we call on God for his refreshing Spirit to assist and enable us in all our Christian living and worshipping. We confirm our commitment to God in Christ and he confirms in us his very own life.
So Confirmation is all about us stepping up to the mark and publicly declaring that we want to be known as disciples of Jesus Christ. It is also a calling on God to give us all the resources we need to do the job to which he calls us.
A great experience of God in Christ therefore needs to be openly marked and rooted in Confirmation. After all, experiences come and go but commitments remain. Likewise, children who discover the value of Christian belonging and moments of spiritual nourishment in Holy Communion need to be helped towards public Christian allegiance and the day by day nourishment of the Holy Spirit.
Confirmation is therefore meant to mark a significant staging-post on our Christian journey. It is a very personal step for those who take it and at the same time a matter for corporate reflection and celebration too. We are all strengthened by being involved in such events.
In our benefice, we have made confirmation courses, leading to Confirmation or as a refresher course, a regular feature in our parish life. We have found that a confirmation course can help move people, young or older, towards making a personal Christian commitment for themselves, for the first time perhaps, while helping us all to review and refresh our own ongoing and glad loyalty to Christ.
Should you join the course? If you would like to know more about the church and our faith and doctrine – yes; if you have not yet been confirmed – certainly! And I pray that you will. Let me know.
Revd John Chandler